First Workshop under the UNESCO project for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage opened in Cuba
The Workshop on Community-Based Inventorying was opened last November 12 in the western province of Matanzas, Cuba, with the participation of Mr. Herman van Hooff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean; Mr. Juan Antonio Fernández, President of the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO (CNCU); Mrs. Gladys Collazo, President of the National Council for Cultural Heritage and of the Commission for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Cuba; and Mr. Carlos Torrens Molina, Provincial Director of Culture. They took the floor at the opening ceremony.
The event, which will be closed on November 20, will focus on the role of communities in inventorying the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and on the need to obtain their prior consent and direct participation. It will also discuss the application of methods and techniques like interviewing, photography, audio, video and mapping, with the support and collaboration of the communities concerned. A practical exercise on the way to organize the information obtained from the community will be the last activity of the Workshop, which will be facilitated by experts María Ismenia Toledo, of Venezuela, and Enrique Pérez López, of Mexico. The event is being attended by around 30 delegates from 12 provinces of the country, who are either directly or indirectly related to the intangible heritage at museums and Houses of Culture, as well as by members of the Máximo Gómez community in Perico municipality (Matanzas province).
This is the first event held in the country under the Project "Strengthening national capacities for the effective safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Aruba and Haiti," which is being implemented by UNESCO thanks to the generous cooperation of the Kingdom of Norway.
Aside from this Workshop, a field exercise on inventorying will be conducted next March-April in the central province of Cienfuegos. By the end of 2013, there will be a workshop dedicated to nominations to the ICH Lists and related projects, with the participation of representatives of the four beneficiary countries.